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Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer

News/Business. (2012) Former US congressman Alan Grayson; aide to Mitt Romney's father Walter De Vries; Richard Grenell. New. (CC) (Stereo)




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Florida 13, Israel 12, Us 12, Obama 9, Jamie Dimon 8, Britain 7, Afghanistan 7, Syria 7, United States 6, America 4, Allstate 4, U.s. 4, Europe 4, Eliot Spitzer 4, Eliot 4, Dennis 4, Romney 3, Washington 3, Pentagon 3, Iran 3,
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  Current    Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer    News/Business.  (2012) Former US congressman Alan  
   Grayson; aide to Mitt Romney's father Walter De Vries; Richard...  

    October 23, 2012
    5:00 - 6:00pm PDT  

all right. thanks so much for watching. "viewpoint" with eliot spitzer is next. we'll see you tomorrow. >> eliot: good evening. i'm eliot spitzer. this is "viewpoint." the third presidential debate of the 2012 campaign is history. and we are in the homestretch of the race for the white house. president obama and mitt romney met to debate foreign policy at lynn university in boca raton florida, last night and when it was all over, romney's running mate, congressman paul ryan, picked a winner close to his heart. >> i think governor romney won this debate and you know why i think he won it? because americans, for a third time now got to see a man ready to become a great president. >> eliot: the polls suggest voters saw the debate a little differently. undecided voters in a cbs news poll favored president obama's
performance by 30 points over mitt romney. registered voters in a cnn poll gave the president an 8-point lead over his rival and voters in 11 swing states gave mr. obama an 11-point debate margin over romney in a public policy poll. those swing state voters also favored the president by 6 points when they were asked who they planned to support. the big sur prices last night for much of the debate, mitt romney seemed more concerned with obscuring the differences between his prospective foreign policies and the president's record than bringing them out. this including afghanistan syria and israel. >> obama: we're now able to transition out of afghanistan in a responsible way making sure that afghans take responsibility for their own security. >> romney: we're going to be finished by 2014 and when i'm president, we'll make sure we bring our troops back by the end of 2014. >> obama: syrians will have to determine their own future. and so everything we're doing we're doing in consultation with our partners in the region.
>> romney: the right course for us is working through our partners and own resources to identify responsible parties within syria organize them, bring them together in a form of -- if not government, a form of counsel that can take the lead in syria. >> obama: israel has attacked, america will stand with israel. i've made that clear throughout my presidency. >> romney: if israel is attacked we have their back. >> eliot: this morning, vice president biden told "good morning america" it was as if the g.o.p. ticket had undergone a conversion in policy since the vice presidential debate two weeks ago. >> i didn't see anything that the governor disagreed on. and he seemed to be desperately trying to demonstrate he agreed with the president's policies. it was sort of amazing. >> eliot: of course, there were some disagreements as well. >> obama: offered an opinion you've been wrong. you said we should have gone into iraq. you said that we should still have troops in iraq to this day. you've said that first we should
not have a time line in afghanistan. then you said we should. now you say maybe. or it depends. >> romney: of course i don't -- i don't concur with the things i've said. they don't happen to be accurate. attacking me is not an agenda. >> eliot: a counterattack was irresistible when romney went after the president over potential cuts to the pentagon's budget. >> romney: our navy is smaller now than any time since 1917. >> obama: governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military has changed. we have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. we have the ships that go underwater nuclear submarines. >> eliot: when you add up our ships, not only is our navy the largest in the world but in sheer tonnage, it is bigger than the next 13 navies combined. for republican's take on last night's foreign policy debate, i'm joined by rick grenell former romney spokesman and former spokesman to four u.s. ambassadors to the united nations. thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me.
>> eliot: always a pleasure. it was remarkable last night what i call the me, too, foreign policy from governor romney. what happened to all of the double coast language about the president isn't tough he's conceding. suddenly everything the president said, governor romney said yeah, i'll do the same thing. why was that? it was startling almost. >> well, look, i think it is a different strategy when you've got the momentum. clearly what governor romney is feeling is that he needs to find common ground. i think that's a welcome sign for washington. look, you've run a lot of races. you know that when there's difference of opinion, you can pound those differences consecutively over and over but it does take a more senior person. someone who wants to lead everyone to look for common ground and i think that the irony is here we have mitt romney trying to find common ground with the president of the united states. and the entire president's team all day long has been ridiculing. you would think that if someone
reaches out to you that you should reach back. no wonder we have to many problems in washington. >> eliot: rick, there is no question when you have moments of agreement, you want to stand up and shout out of sheer joy. on the other hand, there is an element you have to concede of the romney campaign that has been the etch-a-sketch the flip-flop, all of the metaphors where the change in both tone and in substance begins to make you think and wonder what he does consider as core policy because with respect to afghanistan, for instance, he's been harshly critical of the president and last night, it was the same -- same policies president has described. i could not find a meaningful point of disagreement. i have to wonder why criticism so harsh until yesterday. you have to admit that creates a little cognitive dissidence for those of us who have been watching this. >> no. i think you hit it on the head, governor. it is a change in tone. we absolutely know that there are differences with this president. and mitt romney has been very
clear about what those differences are. but with two weeks left, i think the american public wants to see someone who will also, in defining the differences and in pushing those differences and clearly, we have ads all over television highlighting those differences, you also want to see somebody who can step up and say let me look for common ground. i don't think that governor romney stumbled on common ground. i think he was looking for common ground. we should be celebrating that. we want people to look for common ground. i think clearly the momentum is with governor romney. he's trying to find ways to lead everyone but the differences are still very real. and i don't think he tried to minimize those differences. >> eliot: there's no question this was a strategic decision by the romney campaign that it wanted to set aside foreign policy. we don't want headlines for the next week.
romney says he will bomb iran. romney says he will have troops in afghanistan for the next two weeks. that's strategic decision i understand is a matter of tactics and strategy. but given all of this agreement that we're celebrating, we'll celebrate it together, will you then concede -- i know you're not the voice for the campaign anymore -- but gee the president has done a pretty good job on foreign policy. will you now give him that? >> no. what i will give you is there are some parts of his foreign policy that can be complemented which i think governor romney did a good job. what you tried to do in the set-up is paint the entire brush across saying that we agree conservatives agree with everything that this president did. that's just not true. but again, what we're trying to do is find common ground. there are some steps on syria where we both agree. but there are some very meaningful differences on syria. we would not have sent the u.s. ambassador to damascus in the middle of the violence. we would not have been pulled the ambassador back to pull him back and send him there again.
that creates a lot of chaos for not only those in the region but for allies around the world. there are sharp differences but i think governor romney decided to say let me try to find some common ground and what we do agree on syria and it was stark. it was really shocking to see all day long the president -- people attack when they should be reaching out. no wonder we had so many problems. >> eliot: harsh rhetorical critique of the president and then debate. >> i would say petty them. >> eliot: okay. one person's petty may not be. let's talk about the budget. we only have 30 seconds left. trillion dollars governor romney wants to spend. you would have to concede as a matter of looking at what the pentagon has asked for those are dollars they've not asked for. is that a fair critique of what governor romney has proposed? >> well, look, i don't know when you say who they haven't asked for. but here look, is there a way
to the pentagon? absolutely. i think if we're going to meet the challenges of the next century and really make sure that our navy is able to confront china, i think that we're going to have to do some building and that building has not been done by the obama team. >> eliot: former romney national security spokesman rick grenell, thank you. governor romney will agree with the president on tax policies. crazier things will happen. >> no, no. common ground. >> eliot: for more on last night's debate, i'm joined by p.j. crowley former assistant secretary of state for public affairs for president obama and former special assistant for national security affairs for president bill clinton. p.j., as always, a joy to have you on the show. >> always a pleasure, eliot. >> eliot: so you're a seeing all day this remarkable conversion about mitt romney now agrees with the president on foreign policy. explain what happened from your perspective. what was the strategy here on either side? >> well, i think you put the hammer on the nail which is a
day where you have headlines on foreign policy, day of president obama. it was completely clear. romney wanted to pass the test. i think he did. then move the issue back to the economy where i think he recognizes that is his ultimate chance at victory. >> eliot: with the me, too defense we heard from governor romney, everything the president said he said me, too. do you think the neocons who surround governor romney were getting -- we want to go to war. we want to drop bombs. this clearly was not the foreign policy that you hear from the wolfowitzs of the world and so were they sitting there gnashing their teeth all night? >> sure. that is the -- the ultimate conundrum within the current republican party. you have classic republican conservatives.
and then you have the neocons. that's the tension within the republicans. romney as president-elect to have to resolve. i also think last night what's interesting is there were greater differences between romney and george w. bush. and romney and barack obama. he drove through clear lines i'm not looking to do another afghanistan. i see no military role for syria. that's a repudiation of some of the democratizing policies of george w. bush. >> eliot: right. >> to romney's credit, moving toward an area where he recognizes the value of hard power but also the value of the soft power. >> eliot: this would have been called a pivot. would unkindly be called lack of principle or strategic world view because the real tension is between mitt romney last night and mitt romney two weeks ago. to talk about syria just for a minute when mitt romney said he
doesn't want to do a no-fly zone. he doesn't want to have boots on the ground. he's really completely embracing the president's policy in the area where there's been rather uniform criticism. that was the one that was a problem for me. >> i do think there's a colonel of -- a kernel of disagreement where romney on the one hand still has a concept of weapons from the united states to the syrian rebels although when he agreed with the president that you have to have a process that ensures that the weapons get where they're supposed to go to those people who share our values and that ultimately they wouldn't be turned on -- that is very difficult to enact. >> eliot: the other thing that governor romney said that was surprising is the surge had worked. in other words when it came to afghanistan, look, i certainly don't know enough to have an informed judgment but based on what i've seen, it really didn't
accomplish what we hoped it would. here's mitt romney suddenly endorsing the president's position on that. was i wrong to be startled by that one? >> oh, no. it was a remarkable moment. most people -- that was the most controversial -- the biggest decision the president's made in his four years bin laden not withstanding and a lot of people think the surge has not achieved what we had hoped. and he said the surge is working. the training program is working. and i think -- let romney keep talking. you got an endorsement like that, hey, go with it. >> eliot: i think what romney did, this may have been a clever strategic move, in a way, he took foreign policy off the debate map. he has in fact said to the nation we're essentially at the same place on that one don't waste your time trying to parse the differences, let's talk about the one thing mitt romney does want to talk about is jobs. >> i think he made two interesting calculations. he obviously had decided after missing at benghazi right after
chris stevens was killed then fumbling the opportunity in the second debate. he just let benghazi go. the second thing was not what he did in the debate. what they did in the 24 hours prior to the debate. on sunday, you saw typical republican talking points that said we don't want to negotiate with iran. lindsey graham, an adult on the issues said don't take the bait, mr. president. in the lead-up to the debate, the romney camp made clear we're prepared under the right circumstances to negotiate with iran. so that took some headlines we might have expected from last year's debate. last night's debate off the table. >> eliot: i suppose the one area still ripe for debate would be the budget as it relates to the defense department where mitt romney is sticking to his guns literally on the $2 trillion additional he wants to spend beyond what the president had proposed. that becomes a bureaucratic issue that i have a hard time seeing people getting emotionally involved in that over the next two weeks. >> it is a real conundrum.
i don't see the strategic logic for protecting force levels above those that existed in 2001. if we're ending the wars, you want to bring your ground forces down to prior levels. i think there might be a strategic logic to the increase in aid. we've got some problems in the south china see territorial disputes piracy. i think there's logic to that. romney runs up to the same problem and the same challenge reagan had in 1980, i'll raise defense spending, lower taxes and balance the budget. of course, he couldn't do it. there is no indication that romney can either. >> eliot: i do think the marines put in to double the number of bayonets they procure each year. >> yeah, there's now -- there's a bayonet and horse gap. >> eliot: critical to our national security. former secretary of state public affairs for president obama, p.j. crowley thanks for your time tonight. >> always a pleasure. >> eliot: a tight presidential race may come down to a nasty
ground game in florida. coming right up. penny marshall whether or not laverne & shirley could make all their dreams come true if the brewery got sold to bain. >> only on current tv.
if you have an opinion, you better back it up. >>eliot spitzer takes on politics. >>science and republicans do not mix. >>now it's your turn at the only online forum with a direct line to eliot spitzer. >>join the debate now. >> eliot: not a good day on wall street. between some bad earnings reports, the dow lost 243 points by the end of the trading day. its biggest one-day drop since june and yet that had little effect on our number of the day. 64.8%. that's how much the stock market has gone up since president obama was inaugurated.
even with today's drop, that's still one of the largest gains for a president in the last 100 years. as of last friday, "the new york times" calculated he had the fifth most significant rise in the dow of any president over the same period of time since 1900. right behind fdr calvin coolidge, bill clinton and dwight eisenhower. all of those presidents served more than one term. it turns out the stock market has been like a lot of other things under no drama obama. we have good days, we have bad days but overall, the situation is gradually steadily gotten better. the powerful my steal an election but they cannot steal democracy. >> eliot: where exactly two
weeks to go until the presidential election, bothed campaigns have gun their closing -- have begun their closing push. florida is on the short list of states that could determine the outcome. something the candidates know all too well. after last night's debate in boca raton florida. president obama stayed in the sunshine state to campaign in delray beach where he unveiled a new brochure entitled the new economic patriotism, a plan for jobs and middle class. >> obama: i've laid out a plan for jobs and middle class security. and unlike mitt romney, i'm actually proud to talk about what's in it. and by the way, the math in my plan adds up. >> eliot: despite the glossy new packaging the brochure offers little in terms of new policy. a fact the campaign openly admits. >> the pamphlet reflects the ideas that the president has advanced throughout this
campaign but we wanted to codify it and put it in one place so that as voters who are making their final decisions contemplate the decisions and have a chance to look at the specific ideas the president is offering. >> eliot: that didn't stop the obama campaign from touting the campaign including ohio, new hampshire, virginia and of course florida. let's bring in former florida congressman alan grayson who is currently running to represent florida's newly-formed ninth congressional district. congressman, thank you as always for joining us. >> thank you. >> eliot: so how did last night's debate affect florida voters? it is still listed, florida that is, in a tossup category. although it seems to be leaning toward mitt romney right now. do you think the president made any ground up last night? >> i think he certainly did. look, he seemed like the president. he seemed like the president of the united states in full grasp of the fact. mitt romney seemed like somebody with 15 minutes of material trying to spread it out over 45
minutes. he seem to have this wonderful gift to string together words that mean nothing. i wrote down a couple of them as i was watching with my family. first answer, we need a comprehensive and robust strategy and we need to coordinate with our friends to address the rising tide of tumult. what does that mean? how can somebody who claim to be the president and give out vacuous nonsense like that? >> eliot: let me ask you this. there's no question that over the last several weeks florida has been moving toward mitt romney. what do you ascribe that to? the unemployment rate there. is it 8.7? can the president remedy that? >> well, i think that it's been more than anything, the impact of the lies concerning the president's plan regarding the healthcare plan. i think that the fact that the other side has been pounding with ad after ad after ad this nonsense that the president's going to cut medicare benefits when the opposite is true, he's actually closing the doughnut
hole, that's had an effect on florida's senior votes and i think that people have to see through that. the romney campaign is running a campaign of lies. outright lies. i think the president's starting to point that out. i think that other people in the party are starting to point that out. i've been pointing that out for quite awhile. i think people will have to see through that. in fact, the romney and the ryan plan to cut medicare and social security and i think once seniors understand the facts they'll vote for obama. >> eliot: certainly hope that will be the case. the president doesn't have much time to change the direction of this and you know, for four years, foreclosures have continued to be a problem. so -- excuse me, i'm having a coughing spell. i'm troubled by the fact he hasn't addressed that more specifically. >> well, i think you're right. i think the president understands that. that's why you saw a difference between the first debate and the second and third debates. he realizes in order to beat the lies, he has to confront them and call them out and i'm pleased to see he's finally doing that. i'm pleased to see the
democratic party is doing that. i mean for the republicans to come along and actually propose to turn medicare into voucher care and then turn around and say that the president is cutting benefits when, in fact, the president's plan which is passed into law doesn't cut a single medicare benefit whatsoever is just outrageous. it is outrageous they would try to abuse people like that with lies. >> eliot: alan, no question i agree with you. you said before we went on the air, up 18 points. will that continue to be the case? any real threat to you in your race? >> we'll see. we're pleased that the super pacs decided to take their money and play elsewhere. they still have a little bit of time left. last time i got hit by $5.5 million of dirty sewer money from the super pacs. i got hit harder than anybody anywhere in the country and any house raised in history. they decided to take their ball and play elsewhere. i'm happy. i think we're going to win. >> eliot: what did you make of mitt romney last night trying to run to the middle pretending his foreign policy was identical to
the president's. that seemed to be waving the white flag on an issue he was talking about. the issue of israel is hugely important. did the president close that gap last night? >> well, honestly, no. i don't think the president closed that gap because i've been hearing as a jewish member of congress from central florida, i've been hearing now for the past four years that the right-wingers have been trying to make out this case that the president's a muslim. that he hates israel. he won't visit israel and so on and so forth. i asked them frankly tell me one thing that the president's done to harm israel. just one thing. and they can never come up with a single thing but there's been a whispering campaign regarding the jewish vote for four years. it is hard for the president to turn that around. >> eliot: allen i have been devout and stead fast support of the president particularly on the issue of israel where i remember when the campaign began. a misinterpretation of his speeches. he has been a devout supporter of israel. as a matter of politics, you and i have been in politics. why didn't he visit israel and
do what would visually have been better? >> in fact, as he pointed out on the debate, he has visited israel. he's visited it in a way that was profoundly important to him. it shaped his thinking in a way far more superficial than romney going to raise money for his campaign. i applaud him for that. >> eliot: i agree with you. he went to the great memorial to the holocaust and i'm sure that was moving for him. but over the last four years why did he not set foot in the state and say to the american jewish community i understand how significant this is as your president, i'm here right now. i wish he had done it. i think it would have eased his capacity to win the state of florida and that would be the end of the presidential race. >> well, listen, one more reason for four more years. he'll have four more years to do it shortly. >> eliot: i hope that's the case. former florida congressman alan grayson, thank you for your time. thank you for bearing with me as i had a coughing fit on the air here but it no-no way reflects
anything other than complete support for your position. alan, thank you for joining us. senator rob portman says romney's math works. why? because he says so. that's why. the viewfinder is coming up next.
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>> eliot: how do our friends overseas view our presidential race? we have a conversation with tom watson next. first, chris matthews makes fun of o'reilly. little kids make sense of the candidates and fox news makes a charlie sheen joke a year and a half too late. when it doesn't fit anywhere else we put it in the viewfinder. >> third and final presidential debate between former governor mitt romney and future former president barack obama -- [ laughter ] i'm tivoing it so nobody tell me whether the moderate or conservative romney kicked the lethargic or energetic obama's ass. >> what did you think about mitt romney this evening? go. >> i think he understands the importance of friendship with israel.
>> i think he was assertive confident and hungry for the job. >> actually found him to be more human and relatable tonight. >> winning. >> can you describe president obama? what is he like? >> he seems very faithful. like the loyal type of person. >> he's black. like me. >> a new poll shows that mitt romney has amassed a 22-point lead among president obama among rural voters in battleground voters. rural voters say they can't put their finger on it but there's something about romney that just seems right, probably just a feeling. [ laughter ] >> good-natured barbs or serious digs is the subject of this evening's talking points memo. >> i do respect bill. i do respect the fact that you give bill, give everyone's crazy uncle something to say on thanksgiving. >> i like that. that makes me feel good. >> what can you say specifically that -- has undecided voters out there giving some clarity about
why the math works aside from asserting that it does work? >> david, two points. one, it does work. the policy does work. so it does work. >> if you were old enough to vote, who would you vote for? >> obama. >> i'm going to have to go for obama. >> romney. >> i would say to vote for both of them and good luck. >> i don't know. i don't really vote. because i'm too young and i don't understand voting. but no. i'm not sure. >> eliot: americans root only ones following this election. how is it playing in britain? that's next. in romney's world, cars get the elevator and the workers get the shaft. that is a whole bunch of bunk. the powerful may steal an election, but they can't steal
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>> eliot: foreign policy was in focus as romney and obama grappled with getting it right on the international stage. now with exactly two weeks to go until election day in america at least one thing is clear. the world is watching! so what is the view from across the pond? how does our closest ally, britain, see american foreign policy? joining me now is tom watkin, a labor party member of the british parliament and author of "dial m for murdoch." thanks for joining us this evening. >> great pleasure to be with you. >> eliot: we're in the throes of an election, one of the great traditions we inherited from our british friends and allies is this notion of democracy. tell us what is the view from there of this on-going battle between mitt romney and president obama. what is the perspective you bring to this and that brits feel? >> well, look, obvious response
to that is britain is seized with this election as well. we're furious with you for not having a decisive outcome in advance of the day. we like to know who the winner is with our allies. there's been a lot of tired parliamentarians staying up until 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning watching the debates but it is exciting. and obviously even for little ole britain who the president is vital for our economic and foreign policy future as well. there is a big debate in the country like there is in the states. >> eliot: when you watch the debates here in the united states is there a division in england? is the labor party lined up squarely behind president obama because there is some sense of intellectual alignment kinship with his ideology and approach to economics and foreign policy, the conservative party behind mitt romney? is there the division one might
predict? or critique of what goes on here? >> i think there are broad alliances. the party would be the democrats obviously. but it is incumbent on party leaders in the u.k. to work with any elected president. and they've done that successfully when they represent the opposing wings of each part of the movement. you know, i would say that labor party members on the ground and some of our back benches are obviously very keen to see president obama do well. but our leaders will make sure that they'll work with whoever is the ultimate winner. >> eliot: the relationship between the two nations is so deep and cultural in so many levels, two twins who cannot ever think separate one from the other. president obama became president. if he had one calling card at the beginning, it was his opposition to the invasion of iraq. is the opposition to the iraq war now as you said, a calling card in great britain as well politically. do those who oppose it early on have some capacity to say look
how pressurent i was even when the tide was running the other way. >> we've got collective responsibility. the leader of my party the labor party was not actually in parliament when -- he wasn't elected when the votes on iraq took place. he did say he would have opposed the iraq war. so that has allowed him i guess, the sort of -- ability to sort of move beyond the iraq war prison by which tony blair and gordon brown were judged in the country. you know but i think people are moving on now and for us, i'm sure it is the same in the states. it is the global economy that's the issue and that is the number one issue that is going to determine politics in the u.k. over years to come. i'm sure that will be the same in the states. >> eliot: absolutely. the foreign policy debate here really veered very quickly back to economics and the prism of foreign policy as you say was viewed as it related to economics. let's talk about the economics of the globe right now. to a certain extent, some of us
have been arguing in europe you have tried the largest macroeconomic experiment ever with this notion of austerity and at least from my perspective, it doesn't seem to be working that well. are we wrong about that? is the austerity paying off in ways that we're just not seeing it? it seems to me it has driven unemployment up and growth way down. >> that's exactly what it's done in the u.k. it has driven us back into two quarters of recession and for longer recession made it harder for the recovery to come. we have no growth. we pay for the costs of rising unemployment. and that's the lesson of the 1980s as well. we had a similar global recession. so the difficulty in europe is we've not quite -- we don't have a plan b yet. we're putting a lot of pressure on current range of political leaders to try to look at that. >> eliot: it seems to me that governor romney's proposal of austerity appears to mirror what i view as the failed effort on the part of the eu to sort of cut its way out of a recession.
it has pushed knew a double dip. so how much pushback certainly from the labor party is there to change course and to embrace a more damian approach to more spending to drive the economy forward? >> the biggest challenge for the labor party, my party and the u.k. is to convince people there is an alternative. we think very much looking at what president obama is trying to do to sort of put jobs at the heart of the economic plan. that is the way that you can get the building blocks out of this kind of mess. and the problem is that states need to do this collectively. otherwise, you know, we're sort of networked in now the effects of that sort of massive state intervention are quite hard to sort of manage if you can't do this on the global stage. >> eliot: look i can't conduct this interview with you without asking about rupert murdoch. he is a titan of the media across the globe. titan who spreads misinformation
and illegally obtained information in my view. what is going to happen at the end of the day? you have at least had criminal cases brought against people within his organizations. he's under scrutiny. will something fundamental change either at his company or in the media over in britain? >> i don't think -- i think the jury is out about what happens to news corp. they have had 70 arrests in the u.k. people arrested for phone hacking, computer hacking conspiring to pervert the course of justice bribery. people have been accused of blackmail. there's all sorts of lurid stories. my view is this story could move stateside. i believe that they were commissioning private investigators to hack computers. i think the software, the investigators were using was used on american servers and when the evidence is finally brought to light they potentially breached the -- in
the united states. you treat those far more seriously than we do in the u.k. >> eliot: tom, i think you're right. it is almost impossible when you look at how many people were hacked thousands of people over in great britain. many of whom traveled the world and were in los angeles new york, all over the convince. when they were hacking, they did not differentiate based upon where they were. they went after the phone number. i think as you point out, it is almost inevitable that information, with respect to hacking will end up proving out to violations of law here in the united states. tom watson, member of the british parliament and author of the recently published book "dial m for murdoch." thank you so much for your time. we look forward to have you back. >> thanks very much. >> eliot: the big banks and their poster boy jamie dimon. has he skated through the financial crisis unscathed? bethany mclean joins me, ahead.
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>> eliot: after what we've seen of mitt romney, why is this
race still so close >>we will not settle >> eliot: with candidates as smart as romney and obama it is safe to say that nothing happens by accident. what is the take away from last night's foreign policy debate? mitt romney wanted to obscure differences rather than clarify them. even going so far as to etch-a-sketch away his most hawkish language on afghanistan and iran. but why? faced with a debate where he would have to articulate what differences in policy underlay the tough talk and harsh critique that are easily spewed in speeches and interviews on fox where follow-up questions are forbidden romney threw in
the towel before the fight started. he realized that beyond the bella coase words that have carried him through the primaries and in contention for the presidency, there were no policies that made sense. romney decided to hide behind a platform that was little more than me, too and parroted the president's lead. with the three debates complete and the campaigns running on vapor and adrenaline until november 6th and only one jobs report left to frame the outcome, where are we? there are three silos of substance to think about. foreign policy, domestic social issues and domestic economic issues. on social issues, romney has swung to moderate mitt moving us across generations of conventions week by week leaving us confused and baffled about his core convictions. on economic issues, romney has exhumed the skeleton of an economic agenda that touts lower taxes as a mantra for growth. if only the historical record gave any credence to the claims.
and now on foreign policy, romney has conceded no real disagreement the romney campaign at the end of the day is so much less than meets the eye. so much less in any area of creativity or thought than one might have expected. so why its appeal? why is the race so close? because the president's first -- it went well but not the trend lines of declining middle class income and security. people are unhappy. and when alternatives appear with promises, no matter how empty and unfounded they may be, people will give them a long look. the anxiety about our future that has allowed mitt romney a seat at the table is what will drive our politics to the next decade. it has not been and will not be pretty. that's my view. joy behar. >> on my next show, i'll ask penny marshall whether or not laverne & shirley could make all their dreams come true if the brewery
got sold to bain. >> only on current tv.
>> eliot: out of ashes of the economic cataclysm of 2008, jamie dimon head of j.p. morning an chase rose like a phoenix. he managed to steer his megabank through the crisis relatively unscathed. his institution required no bailout. preserves thousands of jobs by taking over distressed banks that no other company would and void most of the risky mortgage related bets that other firms had not. that was the story put out there by jpmorgan chase's p.r. team and accepted wholesale by the media. then this summer, jpmorgan announced it had sustained huge losses on risky bets made by a rogue trader knick navalled the whale. critics began to focus on jpmorgan's long list of regulatory failures. with dimon sustaining a blow to
his reputation, the question being asked by wall street critics are the huge financial institutions too big to fail but too big to manage as well? joining us is reuters columnist bethany mclean who co-authored a profile of jamie dimon for this month's "vanity fair." jamie dime on the line. thanks as always for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> eliot: is jamie the last big repentant ceo? >> i think there are lots of them but jamie is a true believer. he believes that firms -- into thank these big banks are better off as big banks. they can serve their clientele be it individuals be it corporations. i think he genuinely believes that. >> eliot: when he speaks, he does it with conviction. either he's the best actor or he genuinely believes it. >> i don't think he's a guy capable of acting. i think he believes. >> eliot: he is what he is and pops right out of his skin. he is from -- the view that the size of morgan chase created the security that permitted it.
as he says with the fortress balance sheet to survive the london whale losses. >> survive it in sort of undented fashion in the sense that $6 billion is a big number but jpmorgan chase still produced a profit in that quarter. >> eliot: he has to acknowledge they're involved in libor and involved in a slew of the sorts of mortgage-related securities marketing problems that other big banks as well were involved in. >> right. so the flip side of that and you can argue this question both ways the flip side of his defense that jpmorgan -- could survive this, would it have happened if jpmorgan chase was smaller. there is another question in the index, the securities that jpmorgan chase got so big and they almost were manipulating the market because they were so sizable, such a huge position. is it right for our markets that you have a firm capable of taking that big of a position. >> eliot: there are two major questions. are they too big to manage, you just said. i will acknowledge jamie dimon people say he's a great manager.
take that as a premise. can anybody manage an entity that big without these types of serious issues cropping up every now and again and having been in charge of state government, i can tell you with something that big, stuff will happen. maybe they are bigger than we permit them to be for that reason alone. >> i think that's a great question. does it come down to management. when you look at a guy like jamie dimon who is an extremely skilled manager and somebody who cares a lot he really cares a lot and if this can happen under his watch what does that mean for other firms where the ceo may not be as skilled or care as much as. >> eliot: everybody says he is meticulous. he drills down to numbers and he does it in a meticulous way. the other question, does he acknowledge when you talk to him that he has a depository institution because of its scale, the beneficiary of government subsidies and that permits him by -- many different levels to use the subsidies to then make other types of bets using taxpayer dollars to sort of reinforce his balance sheet. does he acknowledge that?
>> probably not in those exact terms. i think jamie's response would be that the firm as it has served its clientele better than it would if it were smaller and his response to that question is well if it is not a u.s. bank serving our business customers and our business customers it will be a chinese bank. >> eliot: i saw that in the article. what that leads to is the phrase regulatory arbitrage where you say somebody else will do it, therefore we have to match their lower standards rather than saying it is dangerous to the entire financial structure. therefore raise the standards and so he's buying into sort of regulatory triage that created the crisis of 2008. >> perhaps. i think there is an element of johnny jumped off the cliff therefore we have to jump off the cliff. people point to the size of europe's banks and the u.s. banks may be big. >> eliot: everybody said look how deep their capitalization is. therefore we have to emulate that. >> there is a question about what serves the needs of a
corporate customer who may be in the united states, may operate in china. may operate in europe. a bank like jpmorgan in order to serve the customer well. i don't actually, for all that -- if we're going to break up the banks what do we replace them with. in the end, you need a financial system that functions well and you need one that serves in the businesses and customers. what does that look like? >> eliot: the vocal rule which would try to create a divide between the proprietary trading that we're talking about here and depository work, not purely but in essence, doesn't itself go to scale. you could still have two very large institutions. another element of dodd frank of course, does try to make it more expensive because it creates systemic risk. jamie dimon is losing the debate. even sandy while disagrees patron saint. i think there is will almost a consensus emerging that leaves jamie dimon off on his own in the minority now. >> i think that's a really interesting point. i think there's a lot of movement in washington that would suggest that the big banks
are losing the debate because at a certain point if you impose punitive capital levels -- it becomes too expensive and shareholders will start to pressure the big banks. the contrary to that is that no shareholder has the power individually to take on one of the big banks. the banks are so big. >> eliot: whether or not shareholders run -- we have a tiny bit of time left. one of the things that people used to say about jamie dimon was he's loyal. people around him who love him. your article almost debunked that. he cut people off left, right and center. what's your bottom line? boil or not? >> i think they had to struggle to find the definition of loyal. what are you loyal to? a person who's no longer doing the job for the institution they're supposed to do? are you loyal to the institution. do you say in order to be loyal to the institution and to do the job we all need to do, i'm going to cut you loose because you're not doing your job anymore. >> eliot: very clever answer. defines loyalty for fulfilling the fiduciary duty. it could mean loyalty to